Thursday, March 4, 2021


 It’s important to apply critical thinking, step out of what you are trying to understand, remove the “old box” shaped via conventional wisdom or group thinking, learn to be impartial, open-minded, unbiased, and take a multidisciplinary approach to solve problems effectively.

The effects of an increasingly digitized world are now reaching into every corner of the business and every aspect of the business ecosystem. Critical thinking is looking beyond the surface, not just accepting things at face value but asking questions and being active in multifaceted thought processes to make logical reasoning. 

Here are a few ingredients in critical thinking and informative criticism.

Constructiveness: Methodologically, critical thinking has been described as the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which uses reasoned consideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria. It is commonly understood to involve the commitment to the social and political practices of participatory democracy, willingness to imagine or remain open to considering alternative perspectives, willingness to integrate new or revised perspectives into the ways of thinking and acting, and willingness to foster criticality in others by providing or receiving constructive feedback.

Constructive critics are like a mirror as it gives an alert of forthcoming challenges we are facing, makes sound judgment of people and things, actively looks for constructive critics from internal users or business partners for improving performance and customer satisfaction. Constructive criticisms such as good advice or timely feedback is crucial to our professional advancement. The best thing about constructive criticism is that it calls to make a person or an organization much more self-aware and can fuel professional progress or business growth.

Humility: Criticism with positive intention is that it calls to make a person much more self-aware and can fuel professional progress and personal growth. In fact, with unprecedented uncertainty and frequent disruptions, digital professionals today should be skeptical about the conventional understanding of issues so that they examine everything before accepting it for the real truth. They show humility to admit something they don’t know so they need to keep learning, seek multidisciplinary knowledge, and have courage to challenge conventional wisdom.

Digital leaders and professionals need to practice critical thinking continually, provide or accept feedback proactively. Treat feedback as information and perception, but you have the choice what story you put into it and what actions you will take for change. Not to have critics might make your path easy, but you might not be able to make improvements and explore your true potential. Feedback needs to be relevant, continuous, as close to real time as possible so it is oriented towards expected behavior and makes continuous and measurable improvement.

Integration: Critical Thinking is commonly understood to involve the willingness to integrate new or revised perspectives into better ways of thinking and acting. Being in a "state of information overload" should be a clue that you are probably reacting from a stress state and not thinking in a self-reflective manner in which Critical Thinking can be accessed successfully. To deal with the nonlinear, multi-logical situation in today's digital dynamic, critical thinking as the core skill is concerned ultimately with the status of claims such as evidence, predictions, analysis, integration, especially when inferences are drawn from them.

Leveraging a wider thinking box including critical thinking enables digital leaders and professionals today to look at the wider aspects around problem space and then, understands the effect of imposing boundaries within that space, in order to frame the right problem and solve it in a structural way. From a problem solving perspective, you think critically when you begin to focus and delineate the factors associated with the problem, apply critical thinking to gain a contextual understanding of the scope and context of the problem, see a larger system with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals, practice integration, open up cross-disciplined dialogs and optimize the whole process in ways that perhaps were not possible before, to make an everlasting solution. Either thought processes or system integration, the successful integration will depend on the underlying relationships between all of the crucial points and how they influence each other in building solid and differentiated competency.

Contextualization: Due to the scarcity of information and static setting in the industrial age, many people are used to living in silos, operate with an incomplete and relatively small view of the world without contextual understanding and apply conventional wisdom based on a very limited thinking box they shaped quite a long time ago. Nowadays we are in the age of exponential growth of information and business complexity, Critical Thinkers live out of the box, ask open questions to collect relevant information and share fresh insight in enforcing understanding and creating the relevant context to make everlasting solutions.

The value of information is not isolated, it's contextual. Understanding context is often the first and the critical step in complex problem solving - without it, you are working without any boundaries or causing more side effects later on. Digital leaders and professionals must be comfortable with “VUCA” reality and become digital-fluent in contextual intelligence that aids you in understanding what’s relevant and what’s not. “Seeing” the context you are “part” of, allows you to identify the leverage points of the system and then “choose” the “decisive” factors, gain the contextual understanding of a specific cause and effect in a specific context or the core issues of a situation based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario.

The digital landscape has many dimensions technically, philosophically, psychologically, and sociologically. It’s important to apply critical thinking, step out of what you are trying to understand, remove the “old box” shaped via conventional wisdom or group thinking, learn to be impartial, open-minded, unbiased, and take a multidisciplinary approach to solve problems effectively.


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